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2017 CancerCare® Gala Honors Health Care Luminaries, Raises Funds to Support Free Services

NEW YORK (May 1, 2017) – Philanthropists, health care industry leaders, patient advocates, and friends and supporters of CancerCare® attended the 73-year-old national nonprofit’s 2017 Gala on April 26, raising crucial funds to support the organization’s free services for anyone affected by cancer. The Gala took place at New York City’s storied Cipriani 42nd Street.

After a warm welcome from Board of Trustees Members and Gala Co-chairs Susan and Paul M. Friedman, CancerCare Chief Executive Officer Patricia J. Goldsmith took the stage to bestow the Partnership Award to CancerCare supporter WPP Health & Wellness. The award was accepted by Susan DiDonato, Chief Talent Officer, Health Care Specialist Agencies, who spoke about personally witnessing a number of colleagues being diagnosed with cancer and turning to CancerCare for the organization’s free services.

During her remarks to the audience, Goldsmith also announced a generous $150,000 gift made by Dorothy Schachne, CancerCare Board of Trustees member, in memory of her husband, David. In addition, a landmark gift of $1 million was announced. The gift comes from a client who received services from CancerCare 17 years ago, and will support the Ginsberg Family Patient Values Institute.

CancerCare Board of Trustees President and Ogilvy CommonHealth Managing Partner Michael Parisi presented the Help & Hope Award to Dr. Carolyn Messner, DSW, OSW-C, FAPOS, LCSW-R. Dr. Messner is a leading expert in the field of psychosocial oncology, having served as CancerCare Director of Education and Training for an astonishing 40 years. In her remarks, Dr. Messner shared, “I will treasure the Help & Hope Award as a constant reminder of the courage and resilience of people with cancer, cancer survivors, and their families.”

A very moving segment of the evening was speaker Kay Hsu, a young adult who grappled with a breast cancer diagnosis while just starting out in a new career. Kay spoke about the help she received from her oncology social worker, Angelique, sharing that Angelique guided her through the confusion of navigating intense treatments as well as a complicated health care system.

Led by Sotheby’s auctioneer Joe Dunning, the Gala’s live and silent auctions featured selections of fine wines, exquisite dinners, luxury items, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and vacation getaways. These included a glamorous five-night Parisian escape in the Marais historic district, VIP tickets to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, house seats to the New York City Ballet with an exclusive backstage tour, and a private dinner for 15 hosted by world-renowned chef Pasquale Martinelli.

CancerCare thanks the 2017 Gala Committee Members who helped make the night a success: Michael Baraldi, John Brierty, Renata & Flavio Figueiredo, Loretta & Raymond Moseman, Lori & Michael Parisi, Annette & Andrew Pizzo, Heather & Michael Schechter, Cornelia & Rob Spring, and Susan Smirnoff & Kirk Zachary.

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. Headquartered in New York, NY, CancerCare maintains three additional locations in Norwalk, CT, Ridgewood, NJ and Syosset, NY.

To learn more, visit or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).


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